National Writing Day

Encouraging your child to put pen to paper and write down some of their creative ideas for stories is not always the easiest task. For your child to enjoy writing, it’s important that writing feels fun and enjoyable for them. We’ve put together some of our top tips to help make writing fun and get them writing for pleasure:

  • Keep a box of writing tools and prompts for your child to use. Fill the box with pens, colouring pencils and notepads. You can also include interesting objects and ask your child to weave them into a story.
  • Encourage your child to write about subjects they love, whether that is animals, superheroes, dancing or football.  Your child will write best if they write about topics that they know about or that are hobbies.
  • Talk to your child about what they like about their favourite books to read. Then encourage them to write something a little like that. Imitating authors they love can help make writing more enjoyable for children.
  • Ask your child to think “what if?” to various scenarios.  What if a film you have watched together had ended differently or the book characters met in a different country?  Giving a child the freedom to adapt a story will make it fun.
  • It’s not just about fiction; many children may prefer writing other genres.  Your child may prefer to draw a comic strip, write a report of a football match they have watched, or make up a recipe instead of writing a traditional story.
  • If your child wants to write a story, laying it out visually can help.  Work with your child to develop a “story map” where you draw pictures of key elements of a story in a line and build a piece of writing from there. Thinking about character and location before beginnings, middle and ends can help. Start by asking ‘Where is the story going to happen? In space? In the desert?’ and ‘Who is your main character? Who are the other characters?’
  • Why not suggest to your child that you make your own family book, newspaper or magazine? Theme it around a recent family trip, holiday or experience and get everyone in the family to contribute a short piece of writing.
  • Look out for children’s writing competitions – you can often find them on the National Literacy Trust’s website.
  • Be appreciative of the time and effort your child has put in to a piece of writing; if they are having fun and feel good about their work they will be more likely to persevere. Focus on the fact that they are being creative and writing rather than correcting their mistakes.

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